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Full text of "Poland Russia and Great Britain 1941-1945"

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out its orders in full.* The Home Army privates were forcibly incor-
porated into the Red Army. The Polish Government communicated
these facts to the British and American Governments., requesting their
assistance. Any further move on the part of the PoHsh Underground
Army towards revealing itself was held up for the time being.
It seemed^ the Russians had a definite idea on how to deal with
the Polish Home Army. After a few days, however (perhaps under Allied
pressure)^ they arrived at the conclusion that it was senseless to react in a
hostile manner as5 in such event> they could not expect to receive any
further collaboration in their advance. Thus., in the part of the Volyn
province then occupied^ a local military agreement was reached—the
Russian Commander presented the terms that Polish forces in that area
should be transformed into an Infantry Division., which they (the Soviets)
would equip. This division was to act under operational command of the
Russians, but would be subordinated to the Polish C.-in-C.3 and the Polish
• Government in London. Thus the 27th Division—which had been
garrisoned there in pre-war days—began to be reconstructed.
On March 273 1944, the C.-in-C. of the Polish Home Army, General B6r?
sent the following order to his Deputy Commander of the Volyn province
of the Home Army :
" 1. With Soviet help you should reorganise yourselves into the 27th
Infantry Division. This Division will be subordinated to the Commander
of the Home Army and through him to the Polish authorities in London.
<c 2. The task of the 27th Volynian Division is to fight the Germans in
Poland. In carrying out this task3 it will be subject to the Soviet High
Command until this matter will be settled by an agreement between the
Central authorities of the Soviet Union and the Poles.
"3. To reinforce the Division^ Volynian man-power is to be used in
agreement with the Soviet authorities.
" 4. This Division is to be clearly a unit of the Polish Forces. New
recruits must take the oath prescribed for the men of the Polish Home Army.
" 5. The Soviet authorities must be informed about the situation in
Poland. You are ordered to disclose that the 27th Division is the first part
of the Polish Home Army with which the Soviet Forces have corne into
contact in Poland^ but while advancing further into Poland they will come
across more such units struggling against the Germans. These units will
also disclose their identity and offer their co-operation."
In spite of their terrible experiences^ the Poles gave yet another share
to the Allied cause—they were placing their armed forces within the
country itself at the disposal of the Soviets. But the presentiment began
to arise that, gradually^ with the Soviet advance into Poland., they would
take over this Home Army and that finally the Polish Government would
be left with empty hands. The conscription of the Poles by the Russians
in the occupied Volyn districts was carried out energetically and they were
able to claim that Berling's Army Corps had grown to ioorooo.
Such were the general aspects of this affair, since the conduct and prac-
* New York Times, May 17th. It was stated a day earlier at the Press Confer-
ence in London by the Polish Prime Minister.